There’s no party quite like one where everyone is vaccinated AND Chiara + Dan are there! Getting the chance to document their amazing City Hall / Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant wedding was an absolute dream. Not to mention of course the fact that the pandemic is nearing its end, which made their celebration even more memorable!
We met up around midday in front of the Cook Country Marriage Court right after they said “I do.” Even though the world is starting to open back up, I still wasn’t able to join them during the ceremony. Chiara and Dan had their mothers as witnesses, meaning I was one too many people to be able to join them. That didn’t stop the excitement! After a quick FaceTime with family in Italy, we snagged some shots on the sidewalk. We then strolled over by the Picasso statue followed by the classic City Hall sign photo on Randolph St. It’s really amazing how many photography opportunities there were within a 2 block radius!
I hopped in the car with Chiara + Dan as we drove over to our next location (we were all fully vaccinated!). It was then that I was able to dive deeper into their relationship and find out how they met. “Like many other millennial love stories,” Chiara told me, “ours began online.” She told me that they had matched on OkCupid and noticed that Dan had played soccer, which was a sport Chiara loved to watch growing up. “We met for a World Cup match in 2014. We talked for hours, quickly made plans to see each other again and we’ve been making plans ever since.”
We arrived at the Adler Planetarium for portraits. Both locals and tourists know that this is an incredible spot to see the skyline! The midday sun was beating down on us, but the 75 degree weather was more than welcome. A quick trip back west took us to Humboldt Park, where we continued to snag some epic shots. Chiara + Dan even mastered the dip-pic! We also got the chance to see some *real wildlife* in the park, including a family of geese with some teenage goslings. If you haven’t taken a stroll through Humboldt Park, you’re missing out.
After a quick break, I met up with the couple at their apartment in Roscoe Village. They were clinking glasses with some friends and family while making sure we got some shots in with their adorable pup! We then made the trek over to their reception venue, which was a WHOPPING 4 blocks away! Chiara + Dan lead the wedding parade down the street as on-lookers cheered and congratulated them. After arriving at Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant, the couple made a grand entrance, we took some family photos (including some EPIC group shots), and the guests mingled while sipping drinks. Because everyone was vaccinated, there were plenty of warm hugs to go around! After dinner and speeches, Chiara + Dan cut the cake and had their first dance. At the request of the couple, I only took shots with ambient light and without extra flashes. The mood was perfect, the night air was magical, and my heart was so full I though it would explode.
This Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant wedding felt like the first real celebration since the world started opening back up. We could all feel it, too. The mood was different. There was hope in the air. And I’ll never forget that Chiara + Dan were the beginning of a bright, post-pandemic future. Congrats you two! :)